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Berger of Kamloops struggles in Olympics debut, thanks fans for support

The 27-year-old Kamloops product placed last (20th) in the qualification round in the men's street skateboarding competition, finishing with a total score of 4.02.

Matt Berger could not find his groove on Saturday at the postponed 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo.

The 27-year-old Kamloops product placed last (20th) in the qualification round in the men’s street skateboarding competition, finishing with a total score of 4.02.

Yuto Horigome of Japan won gold, posting a score of 37.18 in the finals to finish atop the podium.

Berger, who has received an outpouring of support through social media, expressed thanks to fans after the event.

“Never would I have thought yesterday would go the way it did and I apologize to the ones I may have disappointed,” Berger wrote on Instagram.

“There are a lot of variables that come into play that make or break your days and yesterday was one of those days."

Results

The street skateboarding final uses a 2-5-4 format — two 45-second runs followed by five attempts at a best trick, with the top four scores counted.

Rubber joints on the boards’ wheel axles were softened in blazing-hot conditions, making them harder to control.

Berger landed few of his tricks, but continued to encourage competitors in between attempts.

“You best believe we’re learning, growing and moving forward stronger after this one, though,” Berger said.

“Massive thank you to everyone sending their support in leading into this one. The love has been real!”

Berger, who lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., fought through multiple knee surgeries earlier in his career.

He recovered from a brutal fall in the Street World Championships last month in Rome, rallying with support of fans to reach the finals and secure Olympics qualification.

Berger, Andy Anderson of White Rock and Micky Papa of Vancouver made up Canada’s first Olympics skateboarding team, with the sport making its debut at the postponed 2020 Games.

Papa placed 10th on Saturday in the qualification round to fall short of the final.

Berger is the top-ranked Canadian in the street discipline in Olympic World Skateboarding rankings, sitting 10th overall.

Papa is ranked 21st in the world in the street discipline and Anderson is ranked 30th in the world in the park discipline.

The Canadian skaters qualified for the Games based on their top performances throughout the World Skate Qualification Tour that began in London, England, in May of 2019.

Eighty athletes from 24 countries will compete in skateboarding at the Olympics.

MORE ON BERGER

June 15, 2021 — How fans in Rome helped Berger secure spot at Olympics after fall

March 23, 2021 — Berger, skateboarder from Kamloops, aiming to cement spot in Tokyo Olympics



October 20, 2020 — Pro skateboarder Berger of Kamloops on track for Tokyo Olympics